Juan Jos© Daboub, a strong advocate of the Iraq war, was rewarded with a managing director post when Paul Wolfowitz took over the World Bank. In that role, Daboub appears to have been Wolfowitz’s designate to drive the conservative agenda.
Daboub has started to come under heavy criticism from the Bank’s executive directors for pushing a hard-right agenda that stands in stark contrast to many of the Bank’s long-standing policies. In addition to his efforts to undermine family planning policies, Bank scientists are now disclosing that Daboub also tried to eliminate references to climate change in official reports:
Robert Watson, the chief scientist, said Mr Daboub tried to dilute references to climate change in the Clean Energy Investment Framework, a key strategy paper presented to the bank’s shareholder governments at its annual meeting in Singapore last September.
“He tried to water it down. He tried to take out references to climate change,” Mr Watson said. Two other officials confirmed this account.
The chief scientist said Mr Daboub, who oversees the sustainable development division, tried to remove some references to climate change completely and, in other cases, replace them with the phrases “climate risk” and “climate variability”, which convey greater uncertainty over the human impact on climate.
Mr Watson said: “My inference was that the words ¬’climate change’ to him implied human-induced ¬climate change and he still thought it was a theory and was not proved yet.”
Daboub’s efforts at the Bank bear a striking similarity to efforts by Philip Cooney, the former chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Handwritten notes on drafts of several climate reports issued in 2002 and 2003 showed Cooney repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming.